FORSAN, Texas (KMID/KPEJ) – In 2005, the Forsan Buffaloes current head coach, Jason Phillips, actually took a job at Forsan as their baseball head coach. Little did he know, he would make a transition to keep him in Buffalo country for almost 20 years.

Phillips said the move from coaching in Big Spring to taking the Buffaloes under his wing, has been the easiest.

“It has been awesome, it really has. This is my 14th year as the head football coach, and it’s my 18th year here total,” he emphasized. “Just a super place to work. Kids are great, administration, teachers are great, community is great. It’s just been a blessing, especially not just for me, but for my family as well. Both my kids went to school here, graduated from here, and my wife loves it out here. So it’s just been a great place for all of us.”

A blessing he was hoping for when moving to Forsan.

Phillips wasn’t hesitant to make the transition between sports, that he loved coaching baseball but for him, his heart was always in football.

“In the back of my mind, I was always a football coach first and foremost. I mean, to grow up and graduate from high school in West Texas and then to come back and coach in West Texas, I mean, you want to be a football guy. And that’s what I was, I loved baseball, loved other things, but football was always at the forefront. And it’s just it was an easy transition for me,” he said with a big smile.

In his mind, it was just about the easiest decision he could’ve ever made.

He added, “I was always a football guy, even when I was a baseball coach. I’ve always loved football and it was just a good opportunity for me at that point in my life. I really didn’t know what to expect at the beginning, but ever since I made that transition, I’m glad I did it. It’s become part of me, being the football coach out here. I don’t ever dread a day coming to work, especially during football season.”

But while he said though he understands that being a head coach is a full time job, he said he is rewarded each day seeing his players grow with every season.

“The time that it takes to do this job successfully, it pulls you away from your family a little bit, especially during the football season, because it’s a seven day a week job. And I mean, you’re working a lot of hours, so you’re not seeing them for three or four months,” he shrugged. “And I think that’s probably been the toughest, but it’s also been one of the things that it’s kind of opened my eyes and you see what’s important and what’s not. But it it is tough because it does put you away from your family quite a bit. But just seeing how they’ve developed and grown into better football players and grown into better young men, it’s just been a special, special thing.”

Special, word Philips used a lot to describe the program he’s built over the years. He said the community that’s been built over time, is a family of it’s own.

“I’ve been here so long that actually two of the coaches in this office out here coached here,” he laughed. “So it’s great to have those guys back in and then see their little kids running around in the coaches office. You know, it kind of brings back memories of when they were in school. We want a family atmosphere, whether it’s the coaches with each other or the coaches and the kids and our football players together.”

That family, has spread to his own.

“Both my girls, I have two daughters. Both graduated from here. They were basketball players, softball players. And they were both our football managers, ball girls. So it was really great to spend that time. They get to be a part of the football season with me and and it was special. They were the ones that gave me my headset before every game and give them a big hug. Those are some lasting memories and it’s just been great to see how moving to this school, they probably would have been fine somewhere else, but I think just the experience they got here was special. And I know it was special for me,” he said.

Phillips believes his teams have impacted him more than he could’ve imagined.

“We’ve been 14 years together here and just that relationship and then the relationships you build with the kids, I mean, it’s something you’ll never forget.”

When asked about his retirement plans he only had one thing to say, “It’s obviously closer than it used to be, but it’s not anytime soon. You know, I really could retire after this year, but that’s not going to happen. Hopefully, I get to go do this and coach here at Forsan for a while.”